Segnala il Wall Street Journal, giusto un paio di giorni fa, che a luglio la NATO potrebbe formalizzare l'istituzione di una nuova figura di vertice, quella dell'Assistente Segretario Generale per l'Intelligence che, secondo i sostenitori di questa riforma, acquisrebbe un ruolo simile a quello del DNI statunitense:
[…] Rep. Devin Nunes (R., Calif.), the chairman of the House intelligence committee, said NATO needs to refocus its intelligence analysis on terrorism, adding that a new intelligence coordinator could begin to prod allies to share more and create a common picture of threats against the West.
“NATO needs to have a serious [counterterrorism] focus, at least on intelligence,” said Mr. Nunes, who visited the alliance’s Brussels headquarters in May. “It is not going to change anything overnight. But if you grow this over several years, in five years you might have something valuable.”
Rather than spending more money, Mr. Nunes said, NATO needs to make its current efforts more effective. He said NATO’s largely U.S.-funded Intelligence Fusion Center in the U.K. should shift its mandate from Afghanistan to a broader counterterrorism effort.
Neither the U.S. or NATO publicly discloses how much is spent on alliance intelligence. But a U.S. official said the U.S. spends about $200 million a year, a sum another official said amounted to about three-quarters of all alliance intelligence funding. NATO collects no intelligence of its own, relying instead on contributions from member states.
While Mr. Nunes and others have criticized NATO intelligence sharing as moribund, the alliance maintains secure communications systems and is building a small fleet of reconnaissance drones.
An Assistant Secretary General for Intelligence would be empowered to provide broad strategic guidance to NATO’s military commands, officials said, and to streamline and coordinate the alliance’s analysis.
Currently, they said, senior NATO ambassadors can sometimes be presented with one intelligence assessment from the alliance’s military intelligence channel and another from the civilian one, with little or no attempt to explain why the analyses differ.
The reform, said American advocates of the change, would be akin to the creation of the U.S. Director of National Intelligence in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
“We need someone who can think through the whole system in a strategic way and have a vision of how to improve it over time,” said a senior U.S. official.
Improving intelligence coordination in the U.S. wasn’t easy, and the changes implemented in the past 15 years have proved imperfect. Still, officials say military intelligence agencies like the National Security Agency are now able to far better coordinate and rapidly share intelligence with civilian agencies like the CIA and FBI.
Czech Army Gen. Petr Pavel, head of NATO’s military committee, said the official in the new post would sit atop a revamped NATO intelligence structure that “pulls military and civilian intelligence together into one product, combined from these two branches.”
This ensures “that the NATO leadership, both political and military, will have one common intelligence picture that fuses and combines intelligence analyses from all available sources,” Gen. Pavel said on the sidelines of a security conference in Singapore.
Some alliance members are skeptical about how big an intelligence role the alliance can have. A French official said the bulk of intelligence sharing is done on a bilateral basis, and NATO would never replace that. Still, the French official said Paris supports creating of the new post.
The alliance began talking about overhauling its intelligence system several years ago, after Russia annexed Ukraine, surprising many Western intelligence agencies.
“There is a sense at NATO that Russian decision-making cycles are faster moving than Western ones are,” a senior U.S. official said.
The new assistant secretary general would be a civilian, but someone with military experience; an active-duty officer would serve as deputy.
U.S. officials initially pushed for an American to fill the role, but other nations blocked the move, saying Washington was getting too many other senior posts at NATO.
The U.S. is nominating an American diplomat, Rose Gottemoeller, to serve as the alliance’s deputy secretary general and another American holds an assistant secretary general post.
U.S. officials favor a Briton or Canadian official for the role, although officials also said the Dutch a have pushed a strong candidate as well.